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Eagles News: Where Brandon Graham falls in NFL edge rusher rankings

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 7/17/21.

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NFL: New York Jets at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...

Edge Defender Rankings: The 32 best players entering the 2021 NFL season - PFF
14. Brandon Graham, Philadelphia Eagles. Graham is one player whose sack totals at the end of his career won’t do justice to how disruptive he was as a pass-rusher. Since 2014, Graham ranks tied for 16th at the position in total sacks, but only Khalil Mack, Cameron Jordan and Von Miller have recorded more pressures than Graham has (445). Pair that with a league-high 88 tackles for loss or no gain against the run over that same span and you have one of the most well-rounded edge defenders in the game.

NFL All-30-and-Over Defensive Teams: Aaron Donald paces unit, Saints, Eagles have multiple first-team picks - CBS Sports
DE: Brandon Graham — Philadelphia Eagles (33). Talk about a player that gets better with age. Graham has become one of the most consistent edge rushers in the NFL, despite never recording a double-digit sack season. He was still very good in 2020, finishing with 46 tackles, eight sacks, 16 quarterback hits, and 57 pressures — 19 of which came on third down. Only three players in the NFL had eight sacks, 13 tackles for loss, and two forced fumbles in 2020: T.J. Watt, Haason Reddick, and Graham — which is pretty elite company. A reliable edge rusher, Graham has never missed a game in his 30s.

Dallas Goedert on the way up, Zach Ertz on the way out? - BGN
Side note: I have been wondering about how Goedert’s production might be negatively impacted with Jalen Hurts under center. We all know Carson Wentz loved throwing to tight ends ... to a fault, even. He wasn’t afraid to work the middle of the field. Hurts might be a different story given his inability to consistently see over the offensive line (only listed at 6’1”). Some per game numbers from last year to support that notion. [...] Wasn’t top of mind for me that Hurts has yet to throw a touchdown pass to a tight end in the NFL. Seeing that made me look back at his college stats. As it turns out, just 15 out of Hurts’ 80 passing touchdowns (18.75%) at Alabama and Oklahoma combined went to tight ends. Of course, those schools had some really, really good receivers. And Hurts’ sample size in the NFL is way too small to make definitive conclusions. But it’s something to watch moving forward, especially if Goedert’s numbers don’t explode relative to expectations.

Better, worse, or the same? Anthony Harris, Ryan Kerrigan should bolster Philadelphia Eagles’ defense - ESPN
Eric Wilson put up some impressive stats in 2020 (122 tackles, 3 INT, 3 sacks) when thrust into a bigger role with the Vikings because of roster injuries. He will be an upgrade in pass defense. The previous three years in the league, Wilson was considered a fringe starter and had issues against the run. Gerry started 19 games over the past two seasons in Philadelphia, while Riley served as a core special-teams player and had 55 tackles and an interception in eight starts last season. Once again, the Eagles are dead last in salary-cap dollars committed to the linebacker position ($5.7 million), and it has shown on the field. While Wilson offers some promise, it’s best to wait and see before proclaiming they have improved at linebacker in any meaningful way.

Matt Nagy faces make-or-break season in Chicago; five NFL players with Shohei Ohtani potential - NFL.com
While the left tackle spot has always been considered a marquee position, given the importance of protecting a right-handed quarterback’s blind side, the trend of defensive coordinators aligning premier pass rushers at left defensive end (SEE: Khalil Mack, Von Miller, and Chandler Jones, among others) has made it imperative to feature a more athletic and skilled blocker at RT. Lane Johnson has been viewed as the gold standard at the position, with an ultra-athletic game that reflects his evolution from high school quarterback to offensive tackle at Oklahoma. The three-time Pro Bowler shadowboxes premier pass rushers like a world champion fighter with knockout power. The Eagles recognized and rewarded Johnson for his stellar play with a four-year, $72 million extension in 2019 that set the bar for elite right tackles at $18 million annually.

2021 Fantasy Football Rankings: Top 32 Tight Ends - Fake Teams
[BLG Note: Dallas Goedert finished 6th in these rankings. Zach Ertz was 29th.]

Examining the athleticism of Washington’s lead RB compared to the rest of the NFC East - Hogs Haven
The NFC East has some stud lead running backs. The all have either “elite” or “great” RAS scores. Looking around the league, however, the number of elite athletes at running back is significant, with around 40-50% of the NFL possessing an RB with top skills. I stated it in the comments section of the prior article, but the way RAS is calculated is that the player is compared to the prior players at his position in the database at the time his Combine/Pro Day scores are generated, so they can actually bounce around a bit from year to year. What I did to address that was add all four RBs’ data into the latest version of the RAS calculator to get contemporary, comparable scores. You can see those below. Gibson and Sanders scores dipped a bit. Elliott’s and Barkley’s increased ever so slightly.

ESPN names Giants O-Line “worst pass protectors” - Big Blue View
But it is also shouldn’t shock anyone to see the Giants at this spot. The team cut their best offensive lineman in Kevin Zeitler (now a member of the 14th -anked Baltimore Ravens offensive line), and the projected offensive line for 2021 involves three second-year players (Thomas, Peart and Lemieux) who are still trying to improve with their third offensive line coach in two years. The “veteran” on the line, fourth-year guard Will Hernandez, is switching from left to right guard while entering the final season on his rookie contract. Meanwhile, the undrafted former tackle Gates was in his first year playing center last season. Much of the focus on the Giants offseason has (rightfully) gone towards the front office’s moves towards bringing in talent at the skill positions on the offense like Kenny Golladay, Kyle Rudolph, John Ross, etc. But the ESPN article is right to point out that in a huge season in the evaluation of Daniel Jones, the Giants are putting a tremendous amount of faith in their young and relatively inexperienced offensive line.

Three Dallas Cowboys trade ideas to consider for Miami Dolphins CB Xavien Howard - Blogging The Boys
We have seen the Dallas Cowboys consider trades in recent years. Back in 2018 they very famously dealt for Amari Cooper, and before the 2019 season began they got Robert Quinn to wear a star on his helmet. The latter of those two deals was with the Miami Dolphins who happen to have a player that reportedly is unhappy with his contract. We are talking about Xavien Howard who led the NFL in interceptions last season - coincidentally playing in the same defensive backfield as former Cowboys corner Byron Jones - so landing a player of this caliber would not exactly be a bad thing.

Carson Wentz Breakdown Series: The Rough Patch (Part 2) - Stampede Blue
Over-striding is when the quarterback steps too far forward on his passes. When the quarterback makes his throw, he is stepping forward with his front foot, ideally in line with where he is trying to throw. Ideally, quarterbacks are taught to step 6-8 inches out towards their target as they “step into the throw”. Too little and the weight isn’t transferred properly and too much will result in the passes sailing. So through two of the points, we’ve seen that both issues will result in the passes sailing over the receivers heads. Alignment issues will happen because of the hips being open too early. As stated earlier, we want the quarterback to step with his front foot towards his target (if we’re being very specific then slightly to the left of the target is the teaching point, but for the sake of simplicity we’ll just say towards the target). This screenshot of one of Wentz’s overthrows helps paint the picture.

The Look Ahead #45: NFC West All Star Team - The SB Nation NFL Show
RJ Ochoa and Rob “Stats” Guerrera choose the best lineup from all of the teams in the NFC West. Who gets the nod at RB: Cam Akers or Chris Carson? Which WRs will be left off the squad? Could this be the scariest defensive line in football? Why Jamal Adams is the St. Elmo’s Steakhouse of safeties.

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